Former Northampton nightclub may be converted into 14 flats

The view from College Street of the former Legends nightclub
The view from College Street of the former Legends nightclub

An application has been submitted to Northampton Borough Council to convert the upper floors of a building in the All Saints Conservation Area.

Over the years, numbers 16-20 Gold Street - on the corner of College Street - has had several uses upstairs including as a tailor's shop designed by the man who founded Burton menswear. Most recently, clubbers may remember it as Legends nightclub.

An RAF bomber that crashed in Northampton in  1941 damaged many shops in Gold Street, including what was then Burton tailor's shop

An RAF bomber that crashed in Northampton in 1941 damaged many shops in Gold Street, including what was then Burton tailor's shop

Although the bar and dancefloor are still intact, a developer has now decided to apply to completely renovate the first and second floors as well as the roofspace to create 14 flats.

Writing to the borough council on behalf of the developer, Corporate Architecture says: "The proposal seeks to revitalise part of Northampton town centre where there area number of vacant upper floors [in] a variety of fine buildings in the All Saints Conservation Area.

"The 14 mixed single and two-bedroomed apartments will bring much-needed life back into the town centre.

"The addition of a mansard/ penthouse at roof level has been carefully designed to minimise the visual impact of the streescene and the surrounding heritage assets."

The upper floors hold historical interest, having been a premises of the tailor's Burton from 1931, which went on to be bought out by Arcadia and expanded into menswear franchise.

Founder Montague Burton designed the shop himself, and made sure to attract extra customers with a billiard hall on the first floor and a ballroom above. Ironically given it's later incarnation as nightclub, temperance movement supporter Mr Burton banned alcohol on the premises.

A Heritage Statement that accompanies the application makes clear that not much survives of the original front of the building, with the famous RAF bomber crash in 1941 demolishing much of the frontage.

For that reason, whether the potential new penthouse spoils the view of nearby listed buildings is the primary focus of the document.

But author Michael Taylor said the change of use would not raise serious issues: "There is a material impact on the settings of nearby listed buildings, including the important group around All Saints Church, but he extension to the appraisal property will be seen in relation to the listed buildings in glimpsed and oblique views and the alterations will generally preserve the settings of those buildings."